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The Development of an Instrument for Assessing Individual Ethical Decisionmaking in Project-based Design Teams: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Evaluation of Ethical Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

24.1197.1 - 24.1197.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23130

Download Count

315

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Paper Authors

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Qin Zhu Purdue University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6673-1901

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Qin Zhu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. His main research interests include global/comparative/international engineering education, engineering education policy, and engineering ethics. He received his B.S. degree in material sciences and engineering and first Ph.D. degree in the philosophy of science and technology (engineering ethics), both from Dalian University of Technology, China. His first Ph.D. dissertation, on improving the practical effectiveness of engineering ethics that draws on theories in hermeneutics, practical philosophy, and discourse ethics, recently was awarded the "Outstanding Dissertation Award" in China's Liaoning Province.

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Carla B. Zoltowski Purdue University

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Carla B. Zoltowski is co-director of the EPICS program at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in engineering education, all from Purdue University. She has served as a lecturer in Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Zoltowski’s academic and research interests include human-centered design learning and assessment, service-learning, ethical reasoning development and assessment, leadership, and assistive technology.

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Megan Kenny Feister Purdue University

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Megan K. Feister is a doctoral candidate in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. Her research focuses on organizational identity and socialization, team communication, ethical reasoning development and assessment, and innovation and design. Megan holds a B.A. in communication from Saint Louis University and an M.A. in organizational communication from the University of Cincinnati.

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Patrice Marie Buzzanell Purdue University

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Patrice M. Buzzanell is a professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication and the School of Engineering Education (courtesy) at Purdue University. Editor of three books and author of more than 140 articles and chapters, her research centers on the intersections of career, gender, and communication, particularly in STEM. Her research has appeared in such journals as Human Relations, Communication Monographs, Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Theory, Human Communication Research, and the Journal of Applied Communication Research, as well as proceedings for ASEE and FIE. A Fellow and past president of the International Communication Association, she has received numerous awards for her research, teaching/mentoring, and engagement. She is working on Purdue-ADVANCE initiatives for institutional change, the Transforming Lives Building Global Communities (TLBGC) team in Ghana through EPICS, and individual engineering ethical development and team ethical climate scales through NSF funding as Co-PI. [Email:buzzanel@purdue.edu]

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William C. Oakes Purdue University

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William (Bill) Oakes is the director of the EPICS Program and a professor at Purdue University. He is one of the founding faculty members in the School of Engineering Education, with courtesy appointments in mechanical, environmental and ecological engineering as well as in curriculum and instruction in the College of Education. He has received numerous awards for his efforts at Purdue, including being elected as a fellow of the Teaching Academy and listed in the Book of Great Teachers. He was the first engineer to receive the U.S. Campus Compact Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning. He was a co-recipient of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education and the recipient of the ASEE Chester Carlson Award for Innovation in Engineering Education. He is a Fellow of ASEE and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

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Alan D. Mead Illinois Institute of Technology

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Alan D. Mead, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he teaches individual differences, psychometrics, structural equations modeling, meta-analysis, research methods, and statistical analysis. He sits on the editorial board for Journal of Business and Psychology and the Journal of Computerized Adaptive Testing. Since 1989, he has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and conference presentations. Prior to joining the faculty at IIT, he spent several years as a consultant, research scientist, and psychometrician. Dr. Mead received his Ph.D. in psychology from University of Illinois-Urbana in 2000 with a concentration on I/O psychology and a minor concentration on quantitative psychology.

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Abstract

The Development of an Instrument for Assessing Individual Ethical Decisionmaking in Project-based Design Teams: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative MethodsEthics and the development of ethical reasoning in engineering students is an important part ofengineering education and the accreditation criteria of ABET. Project-based design has become amore prominent pedagogy within current engineering education and offers opportunities whereethical considerations concerning technology, society, people and the environment often arise.Engineering ethicists in project-based design experiences have increasingly realized thesignificance of introducing ethical decisionmaking to engineering students. However, a majorchallenge is the lack of effective tools for assessing students’ ethical decisionmaking strategies,skills, and developmental processes in project-based design teams.This paper introduces the development of an instrument for assessing individual ethicaldecisionmaking in a project-based design context. First, we present the ethical theoreticalframework (e.g. Kohlberg’s moral development theory) and practical background (e.g. micro andmacro ethics in engineering) for the development of the instrument. Second, we describe theprocess in which the instrument has been developed. This process was inspired by the successfulstructure of the DIT2 (Defining Issues Test, Version 2) but tailored to the specific context ofproject-based engineering design. For example, our instrument consists of design ethicsscenarios that require students to make situational ethical judgments and then rate and rank aseries of items which they think are crucial for decisionmaking.In this paper, we also introduce the validation processes of our instrument by means of statisticalvalidation, expert review, and qualitative methods including non-participatory observations andsemi-structured interviews for triangulation. Finally, we discuss some limitations or conditionsof our instrument and propose suggestions for further research with the aim of improving thepractical effectiveness of the instrument in assessing students’ individual ethical decisionmakingin project-based design environment.Keywords: Ethical decisionmaking; Moral development; Ethical assessment; Mixed methods.

Zhu, Q., & Zoltowski, C. B., & Feister, M. K., & Buzzanell, P. M., & Oakes, W. C., & Mead, A. D. (2014, June), The Development of an Instrument for Assessing Individual Ethical Decisionmaking in Project-based Design Teams: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Methods Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23130

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